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J Herb Pharmacother. 2004;4(4):27-42.

Investigation on the phenolics of some spices having pharmacotherapeuthic properties.

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Department of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, India.


Spices are an important group of agricultural commodities being used by many civilizations all over the world to aid flavor, taste and nutritional values in the food. In traditional medical systems, their ability to heal various physical, mental and emotional problems has widely been reported. With this view, HPLC analysis was performed to estimate phenolic acids in 21 spices (asafetida, Bishop's weed, black mustard, coriander, cinnamon, clove, curry leaf, cumin black, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, Indian cassia, Indian dill or dill large cardamom, onion, saffron, tamarind, true cardamom, yellow mustard) commonly used in India in different forms. In all, 7 phenolic acids; viz., tannic, gallic, caffeic, cinnamic, chlorogenic, ferulic and vanillic acids could be identified on the basis of their retention time with standard compounds and co-chromatography. Several parts of the spices, for instance, seeds, leaves, barks, rhizomes, latex, stigmas, floral buds and modified stems were used in the study. Maximum amount of tannic and gallic acids was observed in black mustard and clove. Caffeic, chlorogenic and ferulic acids were found maximum in cumin while vanillic and cinnamic acids in onion seeds. The spices are known to significantly contribute to the flavor, taste, and medicinal properties of food because of phenolics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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